Teletoon is a Canadian English-language discretionary service owned by Corus Entertainment that broadcasts animated programming. Its name is a portmanteau of "television" and "cartoon". The channel primarily airs various animated series, including both original and imported content, aimed at children and younger teenagers. Until 2019, the channel had also carried programming aimed at older teens and adults.
|Launched||October 17, 1997|
|Owned by||Corus Entertainment|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Slogan||The Animation Station|
It's Time To Twist!
|Language||English and French|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario; Laval, Quebec, Canada|
Disney La Chaîne
|Timeshift service||Teletoon East|
|Bell TV||Channel 554 (East)|
Channel 555 (West)
Channel 1653 (HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 544/171 (East)|
Channel 545/172 (West)
Channel 72/572 (HD)
|Available on most Canadian cable providers||Channel slots vary on each system|
|Bell Aliant Fibe TV||Channel 254 (SD)|
Channel 502 (HD)
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 554 (East)|
Channel 555 (West)
Channel 1554 (East HD)
|Bell MTS||Channel 151 (East)|
Channel 152 (West)
Channel 1151 (East HD)
|Optik TV||Channel 623 (East)|
Channel 622 (West)
Channel 622 (West HD)
|SaskTel||Channel 90 (East)|
Channel 95 (West)
|VMedia||Channel 45 (East HD)|
|Zazeen||Channel 145 (East HD)|
Teletoon operates two timeshift feeds running on Eastern and Pacific schedules. Along with its French-language counterpart Télétoon, it is available in over 7.3 million Canadian households as of November 2013.
In 1996, Teletoon was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) after a related application for a channel to be called "Fun TV" had been denied. The channel was launched on October 17, 1997, with the first episode of Caillou. At the time, it was known as The Animation Station before later adding, and then switching to, its slogan: It's Time To Twist!, and then later switching to the current slogan "It's Unreal!
When Teletoon was launched on October 17, 1997, it showed more mature fare as the day progressed, with a strong commitment to air diverse and international programming, and the ability to air most of the material uncut.
A typical weekday broadcast day aired "preschool" content from 4:00 a.m. EST to 3:00 p.m. EST,, "school-aged" content from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST, , "Family" content from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST,, and "Adult" content from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. EST. More adult cartoons such as Duckman and various anime programs were aired after midnight.
In 1999, Teletoon started airing bumpers with its first mascot, "Teletina". These bumpers were made by Spin Productions in Toronto. Several more bumpers using CGI animation made by Guru Studio subsequently premiered on the channel. An updated look for the channel, no longer featuring the original logo, was later created for a partial rebranding in 2005.
The older bumpers were removed in 2007 as part of an on-air rebranding. Said rebrand took place on February 5, 2007; Teletoon's on-air appearance and its website were dramatically changed, the website for "The Detour" (the former name of its late night block) was moved to teletoon.com, and the aesthetic appearance of both the normal block and "The Detour" changed.
Four years later, on September 5, 2011, Teletoon's on-air branding changed again to reflect the 50th anniversary of one of its owners, Astral Media, and to reflect the transition to digital television. Since then, Teletoon has begun airing a number of live action programs in the daytime, including original series such as My Babysitter's a Vampire and Mudpit, as well as acquired programming and movies. This wasn't the first time the channel has aired live action programming; Teletoon had aired the live action Fireball XL-5 during the 1997-1998 season. Occasionally, the channel also airs live action films related to cartoons and comic books, such as Space Jam, Sin City, and Batman.
After Astral Media's stake in TELETOON Canada Inc was purchased by Corus Entertainment, several of Teletoon's original and acquired shows, primarily live action series, began airing on YTV. In turn, Teletoon began airing anime series that aired on YTV, including Yu-Gi-Oh!, beginning with Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II, and Pokémon, beginning with XY and reruns of Pokémon: Advanced. The debut of Zexal, in particular, marks the first time an acquired anime series aired on the channel since the debut of MegaMan NT Warrior back in 2003.
Since its inception, Teletoon aired numerous television series from Cartoon Network. From September 1, 2015 to Fall 2016, original programming from the American channel was moved over to its Canadian counterpart. Around the same time, several programs airing on Teletoon Retro, which closed down on the same date, began airing on Teletoon. Teletoon would also premiere new original programming from Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang.
On April 1, 2019, following the relaunch of Action to a Canadian version of Adult Swim, Teletoon's adult-oriented programs were moved to Adult Swim; this resulted in Teletoon airing family programming full-time.
The channel was originally owned by a consortium made up of various other Canadian specialty services and producers: Family Channel acting as managing partner at 53.3%, YTV at 26.7%, (Shaw Communications), Cinar, and Nelvana with 10% each.
Corus Entertainment was spun off from Shaw Communications (who originally owned a stake in Teletoon through YTV) in 1999. In 2000, Corus began to slowly buy out its partners in the service. Western International Communications sold its stake in the service, along with Family, to Corus in 2000, but it had to sell WIC's stakes in Teletoon and Family to Astral Media the next year. Corus bought out Nelvana in 2000 and inherited its stake. Cinar was sold in 2004 to an investment consortium composed of Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor, and Birch Hill Capital Partners, who renamed the company Cookie Jar; Cookie Jar sold its 20% stake in the service to Corus and Astral in 2006, making it a 50-50 joint venture between the two companies.
On March 4, 2013, Corus Entertainment announced that they would buy Astral's stake in Teletoon and take full ownership of the channel. The purchase was in relation to Bell Media's takeover of Astral (which had earlier been rejected by the CRTC in October 2012, but was restructured to allow the sale of certain Astral Media properties in order to allow the purchase to clear regulatory hurdles). Corus's purchase was cleared by the Competition Bureau two weeks later on March 18; on December 20, 2013, the CRTC approved Corus's full ownership of Teletoon and ownership was transferred on January 1, 2014. The channel continues to be owned by Teletoon Canada, now wholly owned by Corus Entertainment under its Corus Kids division.
Teletoon predominantly airs animated television series and movies. Its license originally required that 90% of all programs on the channel be animated. Its French-language counterpart contains a different schedule of programs, some being French-dubbed versions of shows such as South Park.
At its inception in 1997, the channel had a stated goal of producing 78 half-hours of original content every year, and it has been active in commissioning programming since then. The licence granted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996 required a gradual increase in the portion of Canadian programming on the schedule by about five percent each year starting from 40% in its first year of operation to 60% by 2002. In 1998, network management decided to focus on renewals instead of new shows – adopting a more cautious strategy than launching a significant number of new series, as it had in the prior year. By 2001, however, the station was noted as possibly being the Canadian channel with the highest spending on original production, having invested in 98 series, including 225 half-hour episodes that fall season.
Years of use
As a bilingual service, Teletoon/Télétoon maintains two separate broadcast feeds, with a single licence for the English- and French-language channels. It is one of only two Canadian specialty services with such a licence. At the original licensing hearing before the CRTC, the network's operators had stated that the two channels "would be similar in nature and programmed with a similar attitude towards them. But for the reasons of rights availability, for the reasons of the question of advertising to children in Québec and for the reason of dealing with the differences in the market, there might be variations in the services offered." To this end, the station implemented a requirement that all original programming be delivered in both languages. By 2007, however, this condition had been relaxed to apply "whenever possible", and over the following years some original series were only shown on one of the channels.
- Saturday action block – Running from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST, this block features action-oriented shows and anime such as Pokémon, Power Rangers, and Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS.
- Camp Teletoon – The Camp Teletoon block replaces morning programming during the summer vacation period from July to August, containing some of the channel's popular programs, and daily movies. However, in the summer of 2009, Camp Teletoon was placed on hiatus, with Laugh Riot taking its place. The block returned in the summer of 2012, now airing weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST.
- Snowed In – This block features holiday specials.
- Original blocks – In 1997, Teletoon chose a different style of animation for each block. Each blocks were represented as planets: Morning Planet for Preschoolers (claymation animation; 5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST), Afternoon Planet for Kids (2D cel animation; 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.), Evening Planet for Family (collage animation; 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST) and Night Planet for Adult (papier-mâché animation; 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. EST). Each block's bumpers were made by Cuppa Coffee Studios. In August 1998, all three planets were removed permanently.
- Teletoon Unleashed – Launched in 2000, Teletoon Unleashed was an adult-oriented block; co-existing with the teen-oriented block, known as "The Detour", until they merged in 2004.
- Teletoon Retro – Teletoon Retro was the branding and block for classic animated programming. It was later spun into a digital channel, which also featured several live action series. The channel launched on October 1, 2007 and closed on September 1, 2015.
- Teletoon Kapow! – Launched in September 2003, Teletoon Kapow! was an action block, which featured shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider Riders, MegaMan NT Warrior, and The Batman. Teletoon Kapow! was usually shown on weekend mornings in large blocks, although it did air in smaller blocks during the weekdays. The block was removed and replaced by Spin Cycle in September 2006.
- Spin Cycle – Spin Cycle was created in September 2006 to replace the Kapow! block, airing weeknights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. After a short absence in January 2007, it returned after the channel's February 5, 2007 rebrand; Spin Cycle became a 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST block on Fridays only. This time, the block featured different programming every week, such as episodes of specific programming and re-airings of the premiere specials of some shows. On September 3, 2007, Spin Cycle began airing every weekday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST with different shows every day. Throughout the week, viewers could vote online on the Teletoon website to pick one show that would air during the Spin Cycle block. Once a month, five viewers each got to choose the shows for an entire weekday afternoon.
- Laugh Riot – The Laugh Riot block aired weekday mornings from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EST and on Saturday mornings. It aired shows such as Out of Jimmy's Head, Chowder, Jimmy Two-Shoes, Pink Panther and Pals, Skatoony, and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
- 3 Hours of Awesome - –This block aired on Monday through Thursdays and Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST. On Thursdays, it was called "3 Hours of Really Really Really Awesome" and later "Extra Awesome Thursdays". It aired new episodes of Johnny Test, Jimmy Two-Shoes, Stoked, Total Drama, Majority Rules!, and 6teen. In March 2011, the block moved to Sunday.
- 'Action Force – The Action Force block aired weekdays starting at 4:00 p.m. EST, and on Sunday mornings/afternoons. It featured action series such as The Secret Saturdays, Bakugan, Chop Socky Chooks, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Loonatics Unleashed, Wolverine and the X-Men, Johnny Test, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Chaotic, The Super Hero Squad Show, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. New additions included Generator Rex, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Transformers: Prime, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, Voltron Force, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders.
- Can't Miss Thursdays – This block aired on Thursday nights, replacing "3 Hours of Really Really Really Awesome", it was the home of Teletoons' first set of live action hosted segments featuring Andrea Jenna and premiered fare such as Adventure Time, Clarence, Dr. Dimensionpants, and Packages from Planet X.
- Cartoon Network on Teletoon – This block featured series from the Canadian Cartoon Network channel. It first ran from May to June 2012 as the Saturday morning block "Cartoon Network Sneak Peak" before the channel's launch, and returned in April 2013 as the Wednesday night block "Cartoon Network Takeover". The block returned in February 2014, while Cartoon Network was available for free preview.
- MOREvember – This block featured series marathon and sneak peek of series during the month of November; some of these series came from the Canadian Cartoon Network.
- Double Play – A weekday programming block featuring back-to-back episodes of network programming. In Spring 2015, it was hosted by twins Jamie and Jon.
- Famalama DingDong - A four day block with sister channels YTV and Disney Channel on February 12, 2016 (other Corus Kids channels aired different blocks). It stopped airing on February 15, 2016.
- Disney XD takeover - A programming block featuring Disney XD-based programming such as Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. It aired on Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST.
- Superfan Fridays – Running from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST, this block showcases animated series with an explicit action focus, such as Justice League Action, Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, and Marvel's Avengers: Ultron Revolution.
- Teletoon at Night – A late night block targeted towards teens and adults, aired every night from 9:00 p.m. EST to 3:00 a.m. EST. This block ended on March 31, 2019.
- Big Ticket Movies - A block that aired movies every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. EST (formerly at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. EST) and every Sunday morning with two movies. Teletoon previously broadcast films in the early 2000s under the Cinetoon banner, followed by Teletoon Presents in 2007 before adapting the name "Big Ticket Movies" in 2009.
On November 24, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved multiple applications from Teletoon Canada Inc. to launch six Category 2 television channels named Teletoon Action, Teletoon Adult, Teletoon Art, Teletoon Multi, Teletoon Pop and Teletoon Retro. None of the channels launched and their broadcast licenses expired on November 24, 2004. The Teletoon Retro concept would later be revived under a different license.
Télétoon is the French counterpart to Teletoon which broadcasts most of the shows from its English-language counterpart in French.
On April 18, 2012, Teletoon launched a high definition feed called Teletoon HD, which simulcasts the East Coast standard definition feed. The Eastern version of Teletoon HD is available through EastLink, Cogeco Cable, Bell TV, Telus Satellite, Shaw Direct, Rogers Cable, and other providers.
Teletoon On Demand
Teletoon On Demand is a video on demand channel featuring various TV series from Teletoon.
On November 4, 2011, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved an application from Teletoon Canada Inc. (then jointly co-owned by Corus Entertainment and Astral Media) to launch Teletoon Kapow!, a Category B digital cable and satellite channel devoted "programming from international markets, featuring the latest trends in non-violent action, adventure, superheroes, comedy and interactivity." On February 2, 2012, Teletoon announced that it would launch a local Cartoon Network channel in Canada. It debuted using the Teletoon Kapow! license on July 4, 2012.
Teletoon Retro was a Category B digital cable and satellite channel that debuted in Fall 2007, and was named after a program block that featured classic animated series. Shows seen on the channel included The Tom and Jerry Show, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Raccoons, The Jetsons, The Pink Panther, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Inspector Gadget, and Gumby; several films also aired on it.
The channel was discontinued on September 1, 2015, with Disney Channel Canada (on Bell TV, EastLink, Telus Optik TV, VMedia, Vidéotron, MTS, Bell Fibe TV, and Zazeen), or Cartoon Network (on Shaw Direct/Shaw Cable, Rogers Cable, SaskTel, and Westman Communications) taking over its slot on several providers. In the years since, Teletoon has aired classic programming during non-peak viewing hours.
Teletoon at Night
Launched in September 2002 as "The Detour on Teletoon", the block is an amalgamation of it and "Teletoon Unleashed", an adult programming block. Its French counterpart, Télétoon la nuit, airs on the Francophone Télétoon channel. In September 2009, the block was relaunched under its current name with an overhaul of its appearance.
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